Sunday, March 18, 2007

PTSW : Flax-golden Tales

I am a storyteller.

I love to gather some folks around me and set out a big delicious lie for them to devour. Yesterday was our quarterly PJ Day, when our fourth-graders receive yet another extrinsic reward, this time for meeting a reading goal. (Sorry, Mike!) It was my turn to tend the rewardees for the day. I told several stories and was pleasantly surprised when a few students, including one very bashful little girl, wanted to regale us with their own tales.

These are the stories I told yeaterday:
"Bud and Jim Go Skinny Dippin'" (The story and the post have some basic similarities, but it ain't the same. Both probably occasionally stray somewhat from the true history of the event.)
"Matilda Stood on a Grave" - my drawn-out and localized version on an old ghost story standard.
"The Tailor" - my version of a quick, cute, little tale specially related to storytellers.
And of course I recited "Jabberwocky". It's expected of me every time I tell stories.

I usually introduce a storytelling time (or a poetry time) by reciting Shel Silverstein's brief introductory poem, "Invitation" from Where the Sidewalk Ends. I learned this one about ten years ago when I was asked to open a Tellebration program here in Rome. Let's start this week with Shel.


If you are a dreamer, come in.
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer...
If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!

- Shel Silverstein


The series of posts, A Poem to Start the Week, is my little anthology of poetry, most of which I have used with my students in elementary schools during 27 years of teaching.

Previous Poems to Start the Week:
The Dinosaurs Are Not All Dead
Owl Pellets
Mummy Slept Late
Just My Size
The Kindest Things I Know
Miles to Go
Love that Brother
Oh, Frabjous Day!

Other Posts about Children's Literature:

The Lion's Paw top kid's OOP book!
Aslan is Dead!
Multiplying People, Rice, and Readers
A Teacher's Life

You can read some of my own efforts at poetry here.

A weblog dedicated to Poetry for Children.
Watch Sonja Cole's reviews of children's books at

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